Lindsey knew it was a dream. Even if he hadn’t known, the fact that he’d had more or less the same dream for two weeks straight would have tipped him off.
Not that it mattered.
The woman in his arms was beautiful. More than he had ever wanted anyone before, he wanted her. He could feel her nails trailing down his back through the relatively thin fabric of his button-down shirt, feel her lips crushed against his, feel her breasts pressed against his chest. He heard himself moaning her name, heard the erratic mix of their heavy breathing, heard his own pulse pounding in his ears. She was drawing him forward, leading him until her back rested against the wall.
She moved her lips from his and smiled, beautiful blue-green eyes a shade darker than usual. Her voice was low and breathy when she whispered, “You know what you have to do.”
As always in the dream, Lindsey felt an overwhelming sense of confusion. He shook his head slightly, still holding her tight against him. “What-”
And then his arms were empty and the woman lay on the ground, blood--her blood--pooling around her. Looking down, Lindsey saw a bloody knife in his left hand. It clattered to the floor, but blood was still spattered over his hands, on the white dress shirt. “No... I... didn’t...”
“Of course you did. You did what you had to do,” Lilah whispered at his side. “You did what they asked.”
“What’s the matter with you? You look like death warmed over.”
“You certainly are pleasant first thing in the morning, Lilah,” Lindsey replied with a cold smile. “Ever heard of knocking?”
“Ever heard of a lock?” She leaned against the doorframe. “Seriously, Lindsey, what’s going on with you lately?”
She quirked an eyebrow. “Anything useful?”
“Not to you.” Lindsey turned back to his work pointedly and listened until Lilah walked away in annoyance before taking his “hand” off the mouse and leaning back. He felt satisfied that the newest mechanical hand given to him by the company looked far more human than the first, but he missed really //feeling// things. Even in his dream, only his left hand allowed him to feel the woman’s soft skin.
Lindsey sighed. //Of all the women in the world, why Buffy Summers? I don’t even know her.// He had never been prone to prophetic dreams. Or any dreams at all. A large part of Lindsey wished he could go back to waking up remembering only a warm, pleasant blackness instead of the gentle touch of Buffy’s hands, the warmth of her, her blood on his hands.
Rising with a scowl, Lindsey exited his office and walked down the hall. “Sir?”
Holland looked up from a stack of papers and smiled. “Lindsey! Come in. Please, sit. How’s the case going?”
“Fine. It should be over this afternoon.” Lindsey sat down across from the older man. He didn’t feel like small talk. “Sir, what do we have planned for the Slayer?” He couldn’t trust himself to say her name without betraying his troubled thoughts.
“The Slayer?” Holland looked both surprised and pleased. “How do you know we have anything planned?”
“Let’s call it a hunch.”
Seeming satisfied, the man leaned back in his chair, folding his hands across his chest. “We’re planning on killing her, to put it simply. She’s Angel’s weakest link. If we destroy her, we weaken him. When he’s weak, we move in and finish him off. Problem solved.” Lindsey called on years of experience to keep the sudden sense of dread that overtook him from showing. “Actually, we’d like you to do it.”
Dread became near-panic. “I’m not a fighter. I-”
Holland held up a hand. “I didn’t mean directly. Naturally, you wouldn’t do it yourself. We can’t afford to take that sort of risk. I mean that we want you to go to Sunnydale and perform the ritual to call up the demon. After your success with Darla, we feel you’re more than qualified.”
//Success...// Lindsey allowed himself the mental equivalent of a bitter smile before nodding. “If that’s where you want me, that’s where I’ll be.”
Holland smiled, lips stretching back in a way that looked almost painful. “Good. You finish up your case this afternoon and then get on the next plane to Sunnydale.”